About 3 weeks ago in the middle of the fiercest heatwave of the summer I decided to take a trip to downtown Toronto with my hubby and spend a bit of time shopping on my own before meeting up later for supper.
It seemed like a great plan. Some light shopping, drinks and dinner.
Except no one told me it was Christmas in July at the malls. I have no idea why on a Tuesday afternoon there were so many people jammed into Eaton Center, each store I visited had line-ups to pay, line-ups to get into the fitting rooms. WTF? Doesn't anyone work or go to school anymore?
That's okay I thought, I'm going to leave these high strung over caffeinated school skipping work dodging mall shoppers behind and head out to Queen Street West where the hip cool granola munchers shop in smaller independent boutique stores. It'll be fun!
As soon as I pulled open the huge doors to exit from the Bay onto Queen I was hit in the face with a hot sweaty slap of Toronto summer. I'd opened the doors to the outdoor sauna, 46 C ( 115 F) and 100% humidity.
Hmmm I thought, this could be tad "warm" to be walking outside in the cement jungle. That's okay I convinced myself, the stores I wanted to see were only a few minutes down the road. Stop being a baby and get a move on.
That was before I saw that they had ripped up 2 blocks of Queen St. so I had to detour 2 blocks in the wrong direction, full sun, hot retched air squishing into my lungs like wet cotton balls. It felt like a sweaty sumo wrestler was languidly lounging on my chest.
I had no hat, no cool drink in my hands and no cabana boy gently fanning me with palm fronds. I was alone in this hell hole surrounded by tribes of construction workers gesticulating and crying out like monkeys in the Amazon.
That was before I got to the shoe store and they told me they didn't have the size of the shoe I'd come downtown for but if I just walked oh, 15 minutes up the road to their other store they would be able to help me.
That was before I started to sweat through my dress like I'd just run 10 km, my face and neck turning deep red in the midday sun like a ripening tomato.
That was before the 15 minutes up the road turned into 50 minutes of anguish. My swollen sweating tootsies growing larger by the minute. By the time I made it to the store I'm sure my feet would be 6 times their normal size.
That was before out of necessity for fear of heat exhaustion I had to visit every other store on Queen St. West just so I could step inside and breath some cool AC, casually wipe my face with my sweaty palm and try desperately not to look like my head was about to explode.
This was when I decided that wearing my 100% polyester dress was about the worst decision I'd made in my life.
This was when I went into Kind Exchange consignment store, was lucky enough to find one item, a silk dress by Tristann to try on. I took it back to the change room and peeled off my sticky wet polyester plastic bag of a dress, wiped off my sweaty body with it like a sports towel and tossed it into my bag.
The silk dress stuck a bit when going over my head. My body was still a bit damp with perspiration. But once I got it over my head, the heavens opened up and the non existent birds of downtown Toronto started to sing.
It was cool. It didn't touch my body. It was light as a feather. It breathed. I was saved. I wouldn't die on the sidewalk in downtown Toronto surrounded by hot dog stands and pigeons.
I walked out of the fitting room, price tag hanging off the back of my neck. I told the guy at the cash,
" Don't worry, I'm not trying to steal this. I would have died if I kept that polyester self contained heating pad on one minute longer."
And that my friends is how you justify buying yourself a new silk dress. It's death or a new dress.
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